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Re:

SeriousSam said:
Swinging for the fences is a tactic that some players can use effectively. Thiem can't. I don't know if he'll win Slams.
Looks like he can, but you're right that it's an extremely important skill to have to overcome the ultra defenders (Murray, Djokovic, Nadal). It's why Ferrer never won a slam.

Well, to be fair to Ferrer, he was never a power guy. He is actually just a smaller version of Djokovic. He can defend really well, but he doesn't offer much of an offensive game to worry the top guys, unless they are beating themselves with UE's. He doesn't have the serve and his biggest weapon is his movement and endurance. He doesn't have kill shots, doesn't go down the line that often and when he is getting beat, he doesn't have a B or C plan, whereas the other guys do. Thiem may not have B or C plans either, but he hits bigger, flatter and can overpower guys like Nadal or Murray or Djokovic, though doing it at a consistent basis is easier said than done. Soderling could overpower anyone, but he couldn't sustain it, and he also played stinkers in the two RG finals he played (2009 lost to Fed after beating Nadal and 2010 lost to Nadal after beating Fed.) Thiem actually defends pretty well, but we'll see how he copes now as one of the biggest outsiders, particularly here at the French.
 
Cilic just thrashed another opponent today. True, a 35 almost a 36 year old Lopez who doesn't actually prefer clay courts, despite being Spanish may not have been the toughest opponent Cilic could have faced in the first week here, but if he plays well, he is a dangerous player, even past his prime, particularly with a tricky serve and volley game and the lefty thing. In the first two rounds Cilic played Gulbis, who I actually didn't even know was still around, and he beat him easily. He then played a Russian journeyman named Konstantin Kravchuk and not surprisingly dismissed him easily. Three matches, three fairly routine sets and I don't think he's been broken yet, which to me is impressive, particularly on clay. Now plays the winner of Edmund/Anderson in round 4. Should be the big favorite to make the QF's for the first time. Those two guys could be playing five sets. Cilic has had a decent clay season thus far, winning a title in Istanbul over Raonic and made it to the QF of Monte Carlo and Rome MS.

Also, Del Potro and Murray are on right now. I think Del Potro can surprise Murray here. Murray hasn't had the best clay season and actually hasn't had a great year in general, so this one is a toss up, but I fancy DelPo in 5. DelPo himself has had a quiet year, but his lack of success is due to injury issues. I really feel bad for him. I think the last full season he had was 2013. Since then it's been seasons of injury and missing huge chunks of the year. His problems started in 2010 with the wrists. I don't think he's strung up two consecutive complete seasons since winning the US Open in 2009.
 
Still no lost set for Thiem, although to be fair his opponents have been very easy so far. Nevertheless as an Austrian I'm getting a bit hyped, although Thiem usually has problems against Djokovic, who will probably be his next opponent.
 
Gigs_98 said:
Still no lost set for Thiem, although to be fair his opponents have been very easy so far. Nevertheless as an Austrian I'm getting a bit hyped, although Thiem usually has problems against Djokovic, who will probably be his next opponent.

It's better for Thiem to play Djokovic in 2017 than it was 2011-2015, that's for sure. Obviously Thiem was a teenager for part of that time period, but still, this is a good opportunity for Dominic should he face Djokovic in the quarterfinals. I'd much rather face Djokovic than Nadal at the moment, but unfortunately for the Austrian, he'll more than likely face Nadal in the semis, should he beat Djokovic. He may have had an easy draw up to this point, but now the brutality starts, Djokovic and then Nadal, back to back? Good luck with that in a best of 5 on clay. Anyway, Thiem is capable of beating these guys, but he'll need that going for broke style to really be ON, otherwise it'll be tough, to say the least.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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I think if Thiem can somehow take out Djokovic, Nadal will be very relieved. In the best of 3 format I can't see anyone but Djokovic beat him when he's playing this well. Of course if Wawrinka were to morph into his Stanimal form where he goes for every shot and consistently hits the lines, Nadal would be in trouble too
 
Aug 31, 2012
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Thiem just won the first set in the tie break. Markets now see it as a coinflip as to who's going to win
 
I am quite surprised to see such a scoreline in the Thiem-Djokovic match. Thiem seemed very good, but Djokovic just wasn't himself. He looked flat, off balance, slow moving to the net, not hitting with the same pace he normally does and just looked lethargic out there. Thiem actually didn't need to go for the lines as often as one would have thought before the match, he simply played solid without any special strategy, it was Djokovic that looked as if he just got done with a 5 hour match the day before. Strange.

The Cilic-Wawrinka match also surprised me. On this surface you have to favor Wawrinka in this match up, and his head to head prior to the match was 11-2, so while Wawrinka winning was not a surprise, it was, again, the scoreline. Cilic just didn't seem into it, kind of like Novak. He had twice as many errors as winners, he double faulted 6 times and won less than 50% of his second serves, and his first serve % or the % of points won off the first serve was not very good. He would have struggled against a guy that's ranked 53rd, let alone 3rd, with those sort of stats. Disappointing match. I thought for sure Cilic would put up a much better fight and thought the match could go 5 if they both played as well as they had this tournament.

The Halep-Svitolina match was pretty darn good, with lots of great shots, scrambling, fighting, angles, power, good net play...and despite choking away a 5-1 lead in the 2nd, Svitolina still fended off a number of set points serving at 5-6 and had a match point in the tiebreaker in the 2nd set, but once she lost that, she completely capitulated, it seemed like, and quite frankly, a lot of players would after leading 5-0 in the first and 5-1 in the second and not winning the match in straight sets. This one will be tough to forget. As for Halep, I think this could be a tournament, if not career changing win for her. To dig herself out of a big hole and fight on and run away with it in the 3rd is huge. Pliskova will be another stern test. The Czech woman played solid. She is tall and has power off both sides. This might be a classic attacker vs counterpuncher matchup, though Halep herself is very good at attacking and dictating as well.

No more French players left. A big bummer for the spectators and organizers. Lot's of potential, just the occasion getting to all of them it appears. Not easy to play at your home slam, I am sure.
 
Djokovic seems finito. Very much unlike him to semi tank a slam QF. Thiem's clay season has been impressive though, apart from getting ruined by Djoko in Rome. Unfortunately, he gets Rafa in the semi, because I think he'd be a big favourite vs both Murray and Wawrinka right now.
 
Re:

Red Rick said:
Djokovic seems finito. Very much unlike him to semi tank a slam QF. Thiem's clay season has been impressive though, apart from getting ruined by Djoko in Rome. Unfortunately, he gets Rafa in the semi, because I think he'd be a big favourite vs both Murray and Wawrinka right now.

I think against Murray he could do very well, but against Wawrinka? I think Wawrinka has looked better than Murray, and he'll just get stronger now. Stan lost to Murray last year, but I think Murray isn't as good as he was last year, and Wawrinka hasn't lost a set, so he'll be quite fresh.

If we get a Nadal-Wawrinka match, that could be an epic. I truly hope so anyway. Wawrinka is 3-0 in slam finals and he is one of the few men that could hit through Nadal on clay, similarly to the Soderling did in 2009, and who was Soderling's coach that season? Magnus Norman, a former #2 and 2000 finalist at RG. Who is Wawrinka's coach now? Magnus Norman. Interesting developments...
 
Re:

Red Rick said:
I still think Wawrinka is quite a way off from what he did to Djokovic at RG 2015, and I can't see that happening to Nadal on clay.

I know it was one match, but Soderling was able to punish Nadal for four sets in 2009. Wawrinka is one of those guys that isn't afraid (especially these days with three slams in his pocket, he has the confidence) of going for his shots against anyone. The big challenge of course is dealing with Nadal's spin on that forehand. The one handed backhand players have more trouble with it than those with two handed backhands, but Wawrinka's backhand is better than Federer's and he can deal with the spin higher up to his backhand side. Maybe I am completely wrong, but I give Wawrinka at least a fighting chance. Of course, he'll have to beat Murray to get to Nadal, but Nadal will also play a guy that's in really good form in Thiem, so it's not a foregone conclusion that Nadal will stroll to the finals. I think Thiem will give Nadal a good test, win or lose.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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The semis of a slam are usually the best tennis matches. I wish it was Nadal v Murray and Thiem v Wawrinka though
 
Jan 24, 2012
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I hope it's Wawrinka v Thiem but I think it'll be Wawrinka v Nadal. Either way, Stanimal to win!

Halepeño too!
 
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